Living To Die…. Becoming A Laid Down Lover of Jesus

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(amazing photo credits: Kevin Carden Photography)

Unfortunately, the christian life especially in our generation has turned into giving your life to Jesus for what you can get rather than laying down your life for Jesus to become just like him. God calls us all as Christians to a higher purpose, a higher standard of living, and a higher standard of love if we would only yield ourselves to it. However, many times we hear the statement…”Christ died so that you may live” when in actuality “Christ died so that YOU may Die and HE may LIVE”.

Matthew 16:25
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

That’s truly is the call of any disciple of Jesus Christ. In scripture there were crowd of people who followed Jesus just for popularity or to follow the latest sign/wonder. Then their were many who called themselves disciples but fell away after his teaching became difficult or he asked more of them then they were willing to give. Hence the rich young ruler, or the young man who wanted to bury his father (Mark 10:17-27). Lastly were the 12 chosen disciples who were chosen by God to follow him all the way to their own crosses. Each giving their lives for the gospel and being martyrdom besides one, John. Interestingly enough when I gave my life to Jesus I told him with such passion and boldness that I was all in, I mean I told him not only would I live for him, give my life to him but I would die for him if it came to it. That I would never leave him and want to give all that their is for the sake of the gospel….pause ( doesn’t this sound exactly like what Peter said to Jesus lol…I am so a Peter I tell you)

Matthew 26:3-34
Peter said to Him, “Even if all fall away on account of You, I never will.” 34 “Truly I tell you, Jesus declared,“- this very night before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 

So I stated this to the Lord boldly really believing I was called to martyrdom in the last days End times army. A soldier who would give her life up for the gospel and die for Jesus!!…sounds so heroic right lol Then the Lord plainly spoke to me last November with such authority and said “Nana I never called you to martyrdom BUT YOU WILL DIE THAT I MAY LIVE”. That statement alone shook me to the core when I heard the Lord speak those words to my heart he really meant it. Not sure which is easier dying in a moment of passion for the sake of the gospel or giving up yourself safe daily and dying to yourself. As you allow the Lord to continue to crush your pride, selfish desires/motives, reactions of the flesh, remove comfortabilities, and call you to a lifestyle of becoming just like him. As Paul stated

 1 Corinthians 15:31
Every day do I die, by the glorying of you that I have in Christ Jesus our Lord:
I have come to realize you can gracefully die that’s by you yielding to the Holy spirit in obedience and holiness or you can fight all the way as the Lord kills your flesh….yup sound about right lol. So what does a crucified life or being a “a laid down lover” look like? Is a bride of Christ who is completely dead to themselves, completely void of their own wants, preferences, opinions and completely abandoned to Gods will. A bride who rejoices in their suffering, trials, inconveniences, pains, tribulation and trials knowing that God has allowed it and if so will turn it for their good. A bride who doesn’t live for the earthly pleasures but lives for the rewards of heaven. A bride who wears a crown of scorn and contempt. Who is criticized, mocked, despised, rejected and persecuted for pursing righteousness, who is judged and misunderstood for walking in obedience. A bride who responds always in love, not defending themselves, not looking for the approval or moved by the criticism of others, one who is meek, lowly and little in their own eyes. A bride who yields his/herself daily in obedience to the Holy Spirit in every decision seeking only what will please the Father and no one else. A bride who is climbing the mountain of holiness with her beloved Jesus Christ picking up their cross daily and following him wherever he leads. That’s how the disciples of old lived their lives not loving it unto death and I believe that is how the Lord is calling his last days remnant church to return back too. Return back to hands not only open to receive from him but hearts that are fully surrendered with hands opened to be pierced to the cross with him.  Am I there yet no, but I have given myself totally to this call by the grace of God that I may be a living sacrifice for our Jesus. I hope you do the same too
(speaking to St. Faustina the stations of the cross)
Jesus:
Do you see these souls? Those who are like Me in the pain and contempt they suffer will be like Me also in glory. And those who resemble Me less in pain and contempt will also bear less resemblance to Me in glory
-From Jesus with Love
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Crosses Are The Greatest Gift God Has Given To His Creation

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(my first painting “THE PASSION” with the Holy Spirit)

That was a rhema the Lord  gave a few days ago and I began to ask how can crosses, how can suffering be a gift? You know this is a really hard time and season for a lot of believers because of all that is going on in the world. The Lord has spread out his splinters from his cross and given each person a designer cross. In order to carry for lost souls and the world. Suffering is a topic not really popular in the church now a days or not really mentioned pertaining to Christians but we must understand and I have come to learn is that

A rhema
“The greater the suffering , the greater intimacy and understanding”

That seems so backwards doesn’t it but its so true. Moses met God in the burning bush after tending sheep for 40 years, Joseph cultivated a character of righteousness in his 13 years in prison, In the several years running for his life in the caves of Israel David could hear the voice of the Lord having his heart not to kill his enemy Saul, and of course a man who wrote the third of the bible given to him by the Holy spirit majority of it being written when he was prison. John the disciple wrote all of revelation in prison as well. Truly the more you suffer the more you look more like our bridegroom and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Lord spoke to me about three weeks ago to pain his passion. Mind you I have never painted before but with the help of he Holy Spirit sidenote: He is able to do anything lol I have been able to do it with his assistance. The Lord wanted me to paint his true suffering many times we see movies that depict not any harsh torturous treatment but we have no idea how our Jesus suffered. If we did we would realize how precious his gift was and definitely wouldn’t complain about the tiny…tiny…tiny crosses we have to carry.

The Lord gave a vision to a young nun called St. Mary Magdalen of Sancta Clara Order, Franciscan where the Lord revealed the 15 secret tortures of Jesus.

They fastened My feet with a rope and dragged Me over the stepping stones of the staircase, down into a filthy, nauseating cellar.

2. They took off My clothing and stung My body with iron joints.

3. They attached a rope around My body and pulled Me on the ground from end to end.

4. They hanged Me on a wooden piece with a slip knot until I slipped out and fell down. Overwhelmed by this torture, I wept bloody tears.

5. They tied Me to a post and pierced My body with various arms.

6. They struck Me with stones and burnt Me with blazing embers and torches.

7. They pierced Me with awls; sharp spears tore My skin, flesh and arteries out of My body.

8. They tied Me to a post and made Me stand barefoot on an incandescent metal sheet.

9. They crowned Me with an iron crown and wrapped My eyes with the dirtiest possible rags.

10. They made Me sit on a chair covered with sharp pointed nails, causing deep wounds in My body.

11. They poured on My wounds liquid lead and resin and, after this torture, they pressed Me on the nailed chair so that the nails went deeper and deeper into My flesh.

12. For shame and affliction, they drove needles into the holes of My uprooted beard. They tied my hands behind My back and led Me walking out of prison with strikes and blows.

13. They threw Me upon a cross and attached Me so tightly that I could hardly breathe anymore.

14. They threw at My head as I lay on the earth, and they stepped on Me, hurting My breast. Then, taking a thorn from My crown, they drove it into My tongue.

15. They poured into My mouth the most immodest excretions, as they uttered the most infamous expressions about Me.

Then, Jesus added,
“My daughter, I desire that you let everybody know the Fifteen Secret Tortures in order that everyone of them be honored.”
“Anyone who daily offers Me, with love, one of these sufferings and says with fervor the following prayer, will be rewarded with eternal glory on the day of judgement.”

2 Timothy 2:12
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

As Christians were called to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Jesus. So suffering is inevitable as a true disciple of Jesus Christ until he restores this earth in righteousness. Now we are in turbulent times and the Lords desire that we would carry our crosses ( annoyances, inconveniences, sicknesses, trials) without complaining for the world. So that he may use it to draw souls into the kingdom in these last final hours.

-From Jesus With Love

 

Jesus says “Console Me”

PicMonkey Collage

I have come to know the Lord in the most intimate way through suffering. The dreaded word many Christians don’t want to hear or go through but very much apart of a believers life. The Lord never said that this world would be perfect full of love, peace  and joy no he actually warned us that we would have trials and tribulation but to take heart because He has already overcome! Were called to be overcomers in a ever increasing dark, angry, deteriorating world. The times were living in our treacherous when many are looking for answer’s, protection, hope and love in  all the wrong places which can only be found in Jesus! He is indeed coming back very soon!

John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

There is a mystery in suffering, that our God suffers with us too. Suffering is caused because of sin and  we live in a fallen world. Jesus took the sins of he world upon him on the cross yet still suffers with us and will continue too until the world is restored to righteousness at the end of the age. We serve a God who is very human and many times we forget. As many go about there day business as usual and act as if God is so far away from all that is going on in the world blaming him but, oh how very present he is and near to the brokenhearted. His heart grieves for the many souls who lose their lives, who go through trials, who are hurting and especially the ones who don’t know him. His heart grieves for the many who still blaspheme his name, who reject him, mock him, who love wickedness and hate truth. He hears the cries of all in this fallen world and when one tear drops those are his tears he cries through them, therefore not one tear hits the ground unnoticed by Jesus. How his heart breaks desperately for his children every day and when you lay down your life to suffer with Jesus he will let you in on whats on his heart.  Now more than ever Jesus desires consolement, yes our God desires to be comforted by his creation, by his children, by none other than his bride. Which is a sweet consolation to his wounded heart. Will you console Jesus in this hour?

With great suffering comes great intimacy, trust and understanding

Jesus what’s on your heart? 

“These are turbulent times my beloved, turbulent times. I am hurting and suffering with the world. Many of my children are doing things for me but, very few are WITH me. I desire to be with my bride in this hour don’t wander off in doing things for me my beloved but, stay close to me. Console me, my beloved console me. Heal the wounded heart of your king, your Lord with worship, with your time and with you praise. Your prayers are a sweet incense that draws me out of the pain of this dying world into the chambers of my bride’s heart where I am strengthen and comforted by your response to my call. Console me my beloved console me. Many desire to pitch their tents on the mountain of prosperity but, so very few….very few will pitch their tents in the Garden of Gethsemane with me. Where my heart resides still making intercession for souls to come to me. Will you suffer with me my bride? Will you drink the cup of bitterness as I did and still tasting until all is return to me? Will you pitch your tent in Gethsemane? I am lonely my beloved, I long for my brides affection, her attention to detach from all the distractions and business of this world and be with me. Will you watch and pray? Console me, my beloved Console me.”

Your suffering King and Bridegroom-Jesus

 

 

 

Choosing Jesus Or Choosing Nana: The Fight Of Self-Denial

tug_of_war_with_god_by_kevron2001-d9rra27

(Pic credits Kevin Carden website http://www.christianphotoshops.com)

I have found to walk with Christ takes two decisions, first confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart that he is Lord which seals your salvation then…..( the part which majority of us believers struggle with) to DENY YOUR FLESH completely in total surrender that He may live. Which I have come to realize is day by day, decision by decision to choose Jesus rather than to choose Nana. I don’t pass the test every time but the longer I am walking with Christ the more apparent that call seems, the quicker I find myself willing to sacrifice my desires for his…Now I didn’t say easier lol Don’t be mistaken it is hard but dying is never easy.

I had given my life to the Lord at a young age but I hadn’t given him my life. So when the Lord called me to surrender my life 3 years ago I hesitatingly did.  Not realizing it would be the greatest, most amazing and difficult decision I had and will ever make. However, I began to get rhemas from the Lord asking for “total surrender” and I would wonder hmmm Lord I have completely surrendered, (or so I thought) I don’t get it.  You have my heart and my life is yours now. Not realizing he wanted complete control of my time, my body, my money, my plans etc….you name it He wants it all. So many times as believers we declare God you can have it all, whatever you want, my life is yours but do we really mean that and are we willing to live a sacrificial, crucified, hedged in life , denying ourselves every worldly pleasure and living only for the perfect will of God?? I would say many Christians don’t , especially in our generation and in our western Christianity.  I remember the Holy Spirit speaking to me these words:

“In this generation we call obedience legalism and holiness religious”

So true! I remember being so frustrated at times because I slowly started noticing as I walked with Jesus there were many things other Christians could do but I couldn’t. For the life of me I couldn’t understand it. I thought the christian life was suppose to be fun with Jesus! lol No, the Lord was like is “your called to be holy and pure for me”. So I have found myself many times making plans, having personal desires and them being completely adverted because Jesus has plans for me as his bride to do instead. So i have been learning to submitted to my bridegroom.

One instance was two days ago, where I found myself weary at my moms house with all my nieces and nephews over. The day felt like I was taking care of a day care lol. I was unable to get any work done really and wanted to get away. Just then a friend from my Kenya team reminded me of  get together they were hosting at their home. Watching the Avengers movie and eating snacks. So having a strong desire to go, I first wanted to make sure it was okay with the Lord first so I asked him for a rhema I got “Sickness” . Now when I get scriptures about that either I am asking for healing or the Lord is saying my mind is sick, I have come in agreement with wrong thinking…hmmm. So having a slight nudge he didn’t want me to go and would rather have me spend time with him. I thought I am not sick (like I didn’t know) and went anyway lol. As soon as I got in front of their house a song came on the radio guess what the Lyrics where ” There is a sickness in the world where people are looking to fill the void but can only be filled with Jesus” All  I could do was laugh, I was like nooooo. Jesus I am already here (the Lord can use anything to talk to us by the way). Then the second song came on lyrics ” Lord help me to listen to what you tell me to do”. I reasoned with the Lord saying, moms house is crowded where can i go to spend time. Then the idea came to mind to go to my sisters place, she was out of town for  trip so would have the place to ourselves. So with my face in my palm, I looked up looking at the inviting house, movie, fellowship and snacks or leave and head to my sisters. I had a decision to make….To Choose Jesus or Choose Nana. Nana, wanted to have escape, have fun and relax with friends and Jesus wanted to escape with me, have fun and have me relax in his heart…… (with a sigh ) lol I said yes, Lord. I chose Jesus (that is all by his grace)

I made my way to my sisters apartment and there I had 3 hours of the most awesome and intimate time with alone in her walking closet. I left feel at peace, no longer burdened, loved and feeling full of purpose. Jesus has called me and if not all of us to a life of TOTAL SURRENDER . We must understand it takes our permission for the Lord to complete His work in us. He is a gentleman, he wont force his will on you but will you yield to his? Jesus has asked me to live a life denying myself of  the news, of movies, of TV, of Entertainment. of certain food, of sweets, idle time wasted hanging out,  many worldly pleasures, worldly comforts and live on the bare necessities which come from him alone just to name a few.  It feels like a tug of war every time but, God is so gracious and patient with me lol. He has me hedged finely and I am learning to appreciate that rather than complain. I get asked many times lately about intimacy with Jesus and I always tell them one of the many components to walking with Jesus so intimately is to deny yourself, not all at once. The Lord works with us all in stages and by layers, its one day at a time waking up to say I choose you Jesus today above my desires, my plans and my comforts so will you  make a decision and choose Jesus every time? Ask him for the grace to make you willing to be made willing!

Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

-From Jesus With Love

 

 

Grace of Thankfulness

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You know the Lord speaks in so many different ways and sometimes by numbers. I know many people have seen 111, 333, 444, 555 etc and the Holy Spirit has actually taught me what some of the meanings are when he shows his children those numbers. Numbers have a biblical meaning and shown three times consecutively becomes a love letter from the Lord to you. The number  3 is the Godhead (the Triune) so when you see 333, the Lord is reminding that God the Father, Jesus the son and the Holy Spirit are with you. Beautiful reminder he is with you. The number 4 is Gods creative works, so seeing 444 the Lord is reminding me to “work” . To be diligent or obedient if he has given me a project to do or a task. Now the number 5 is of Grace, redemption……good ole 555, to be honest I cringe when I see this, now I have learned to laugh a little, but nervous and pray lol. When I see 555 the Lord is telling me a suffering is coming, a Simons cross, a trial is coming. Since 5 is his grace  this scripture comes to mind:

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

I remember first coming to the Lord one of my many passionate prayers have been that I would live for him, I would be willing to be rejected for him, and I would be willing to suffer for him. Oh, how he has kept me to my word lol As I began to read Gods words during difficult times I realized in his eyes we are blessed to suffer for his name. As we have our own crosses he allows suffering which is a trial, inconvenience a “Simons cross” which makes it more difficult because we are carrying an additional crosses for someone, something or a situation. Simon was the man that helped our Savior and Messiah carry his cross when Jesus couldn’t carry it anymore. This man thought he didn’t commit the crime why should he help carrying this so called “dead mans cross” not realizing the very cross he carried, carried his sins and that “dead man” was the savior of the world. If Simon would’ve known he would’ve responded with such excitement and with so much (Thankfulness)

Mark 15:21
A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.

Many believers are going through trying ties right now because we are carrying crosses for the world and our nation for God mercy and his will to be done. So fast forward I began to see 555 often about two weeks ago and the first thought was oh oh, Lord a suffering/ trial is coming lol Usually, when I see that it affects just me but this time this trial affected my whole family. The Lord had spoken through this ministry I follow and told us Holy Trials where coming and the way we can overcome is having a grace of thankfulness

My Cross:

  • My sister lost her job the same week I lost mine
  • Then last week my brother in Law and my brother lost their jobs on the same day
  • Last week my sister car broke down and now we have only one two cars in the house
  • So no I am stuck waking up in the morning giving people rides @ 5am and dropping off the kids

This all happened in one month and has been very difficult for my family at the same time we have been through worse lol. So finally my brother in law got a job but needed a ride back and forth. I thought about it and told him I could help, so I committed to taking him to work 5am, dropping the kids off at school, picking him up then picking hem up from daycare. So this week I found myself dreading getting up 5 am and not having anytime to do any projects, being just tired I began to complain to the Lord. He spoke to me “stop complaining I am preparing you for marriage” . I was like whaaaaa Jesus, haha okay I wasn’t seeing things from his perspective or having his heart to sacrifice.  This was teaching me to be a good steward of my time and giving me first hand experience what it would be like having a husband, children a family and still making time to spend with the Lord and work on all the projects he has given me. (Thankful)

Grace of Thankfulness

So during this trial the Lord kept reminding of that message of how we should be grateful and thankful in every trial. Its allows us to grow in patient, longsuffering, and most importantly trusting him. I got to encourage my family not to look at our circumstances but look to Jesus. Through this my sisters decided to do a family prayer line every week, which we did last Thursday and it was awesome. In my heart I was overjoyed in awe seeing my sisters draw closer to the Lord like never before (Thankful). Then this Monday we had a night of praise and worship at my moms house. My Brother in law came as well, everyone was so down and stressed with the loss of jobs and financial strain but the Lord reminded me again praise and worship me for what I am doing. So initially everyone was seated just a heaviness in the room but by the end of the night even my brother in law was up clapping his hands dancing and praising God. We all left that night so full of joy and thankful for all that we had! (Thankful) There is truly power in having a heart of praise and thanksgiving despite what your going through because we know God is working it all out!

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

So we all don’t have jobs yet, nor is my sister car fixed but I know that God is with us now more than ever. I will worship God for who he is, what he has done, and what he is doing because I know he is transforming my family, transforming our hearts to transform our lives. He is so faithful!!! So what cross does God have you carrying? Know that he is suffering with you and that cross,  those trials, and inconveniences are baring much fruit for his kingdom and causing you to grow in virtue as well. When it seems unbearable ask him for the grace of thankfulness. For that is the more reason you should get some worship music and praise God even all that the more because He is Good and is working it out!!

God bless you!